Monday, December 17th, 2007

2007 Ajax Tools Usage Survey Results

Category: Ajax, Survey

Thanks to the Ajaxian community for getting in feedback so quickly on the third annual survey. Richard has written up his thoughts on the data, which we have to remember, accounts for a small percentage of developers, and those that visit Ajaxian are probably not the norm ;)

That being said, it is interesting to take a peak at the data (which is open for everyone to slice and dice), and Richard has some good thoughts:

What is interesting about the Ajax market is that it’s more diversified in 2007 than it was in 2005 – the number of toolkits keep growing and jostling position in terms of usage. Right now there are 241 Ajax toolkits and related libraries listed in the survey. There were about three dozen in 2005 and 170 in 2006. The number of options is growing.

Prototype and are the only toolkits to maintain a lead over the past three years. However, over all there are no clear winners or losers as even the strongest incumbents (i.e., Prototype and are starting too loose ground. Some frameworks initially popular have faded nearly completely out of the market (i.e., xajax and Rico ) while others have have sprung out of nowhere to become leading tookits (i.e., jQuery and Ext JS). The changes over the past three years are easy to see in the stack chart at the end of this blog, which shows the market share of the most popular toolkits – notice how they grow and shrink in market share. That means that the market remains immature.

What is astonishing is the nearly complete lack of commercial Ajax frameworks. Backbase has had a lot of success making a comeback after loosing some market share in 2006, but other commercial Ajax frameworks have not been so lucky.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 2:09 am

3.9 rating from 19 votes


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Wow, the thing that struck me most when reading that quote was “What awful spelling!!”

Does the writer not know the difference between Lose and Loose?? Or which use of Too or To to use?

Or was this some subtle message he was trying to get through – “Too Loose” – ie. Needs tightening!! “Loosing some market share” – ie. giving it away!!

Sorry – CABSOTI strikes again! (Campaign Against Bad Spelling On The Internet)

Comment by Dave Probert — December 17, 2007

I think the reason jQuery is getting popular is that it has more resources than other Ajax. Especially it has more books published than any other tools. The popularity of Ajax tools is proportional to the resources and publications.

Comment by elvisparsley — December 17, 2007

Interesting survey!

I also made a ‘Best Ajax Library’ ranking in

I will thank you if you participate in this ranking, and explain why you like some ajax libraries.

Comment by scroco — December 17, 2007

scroco, thanks for your overview. My choice is jQuery !!!

Comment by Snowcore — December 17, 2007

I’ve recently evaluated which toolkit to use also, and decided against the commercial toolkits primarily based on the following:
– “At run-time” instead of “per-developer” licensing models, which either cost too much or make administration too complicated for us.
– Lack of community, meaning you have less tips and tricks, less third-party add-ons, less sources of documentation, …
– Difficulty of obtaining source code for evaluation (in some cases). I need to really understand and test all aspects of a library before adopting it. This means I need to see the full product, including all documentation and readable source code, before I make a purchasing decision.

Comment by Joeri — December 17, 2007

Two interesting observations:
* Dojo is not doing that well in this survey.
* Ext jumps to the 3rd position (very impressive).
Also, Mootools ranking is improving.

Comment by Les — December 17, 2007

Why is JSON in the list? Surely that’s not a a framework or a tool – it’s a method for encoding data that could be used in conjunction with any of the other options on the list. Or am I being daft…?

Comment by Jerome — December 17, 2007

Prototype is like the industrial revolution. All it has is fame and foundation.

JQuery is like assembly code that happens to be well-documented. Use it as it is and nothing else.

Ext is just like programming in Win32.

MooTools is like the second industrial revolution. It’s better, but it’s still the same committee.

YUI is like a hip hop CD compiled by a bunch of older folks.

Dojo is like a swiss army knife. But people want either a blade or a machete.

Comment by spam — December 17, 2007

maybe one of the most significant findings is that ‘raw ajax’ has gone down from 40% to 13% is 2 years time. That’s good news, and shows the market is getting more mature.

@Les: agree, it’s surprising that Dojo is not doing that well

@Joeri: commercial frameworks have support & training, which can be very helpful to solve issues. Agree that community is lacking for some commercial frameworks, although at Backbase we’ve got a pretty healthy community going at (developer network).

I added some more comments at my blog

Comment by JepCastelein — December 17, 2007

It’s a bit surprising that Dojo would do so poorly in a survey. We’re far from perfect, but an unscientific poll about Ajax toolkit usage should be taken with a grain of salt.

The numbers we track (# of downloads, # of questions asked on mailing lists/forums, # of major Dojo-based apps in development or production, quality of code and contributions) are all trending upwards in a significant way.

Comment by Dylan Schiemann — December 17, 2007

A download != someone actually using your framework.

Comment by Chris Phillips — December 17, 2007

@chris: I never said it was.

Comment by Dylan Schiemann — December 17, 2007

I would like to draw your attention to another alternative which is a paradigm shift for AJAX front ends. One should be aware that I am not, and do not pretend to be objective, never the less I believe that one can judge for himself. Visual WebGui is an open source rapid application development framework for graphic user interfaces of IT web applications. VWG replaces the obsolete paradigms of ASP.NET in both design-time and run-time which were designed for developing sites, with WinForms methodologies, which were designed for developing applications. Thus enabling designer that was designed for application interfaces (WinForms designer) instead of a word documents (ASP.NET designer). This provides the developer with an extremely efficient way to design interfaces using drag and drop instead of hand coding HTML. Visual WebGui is an AJAX frame work that doesn’t expose logic, data or open services on client requests and therefore is not as vulnerable as common AJAX solution.. VWG presentation layer is de-coupled and instead of standard browser it can, and will run Silverlight.
NO!!! Visual Webgui is not!!
Not a component library – It is a complete revised approach to developing web applications.

not a JavaScript generator – It runs on the server controlling the browser using a small static JavaScript kernel.

Not for developing sites – It was designed to provide for developing IT web applications GUIs.

Not a closed / locked-in framework – It has many extensibility features, which allow integration of legacy resources (ASP.NET or DHTML resources) and the development of custom controls and behaviors.
Worth a look at,

Comment by navot — December 18, 2007

dojo position surprised me as well. It has had problems with documentation an above all the API changes but otherwise v1 is really nice and powerful. DWR is the only server side framework here, my guess is a lot of people use it in conjunction with the rest

Comment by xmaniac — December 18, 2007

You must use prototype to use right? so prototype have near 50% ?

Comment by Chocolim — December 19, 2007

If you have to use prototype to use, then the numbers are meaningless. You don’t add the two numbers.

As others have said, you must take these results with a huge grain of salt. For example, there was a post on the Ext discussion list to rally the troops to take the survey. I didn’t see that on the other frameworks’ lists, and I believe the intent was to sample the Ajaxian community, not to see who could drive the biggest promotional campaign.

Meh. Whatever. Just don’t think this means more than it does.

Comment by McLars — December 19, 2007

Thanks for the survey ! It’s great to see that there are quite a few others. I personally use AJAX and the Control Toolkit for a variety of effects (see on (only in german for the moment, sorry). And I have to say that it’s a great deal of fun to explore the cool new possibilities the framework offers.
Thanks !

Comment by DenisAbt — December 19, 2007

Wow just realize that most of people still hardcore coding the JavaScript. I go with php for my blog site. But, for enterprise projects I working on, I go for the server-centric framework ZK.

Comment by jebberwocky — December 20, 2007

If you’re an AJAX novice and are defied by AJAX, then you may want to try AJAX Webshop because it features IDE and visualization and allows beginners to develop Rich Web applications quickly. Let’s look at some of its features:

Based on standard component library it allows Ajax IDE in the pattern of rapid application development (RAD)

Integrated development and management tools are available. Easy-to-use visual Unified Modeling Language and visual IDE; complete component and object-oriented development pattern

Rich Web component library

Troubleshooting IntelliSense support, code editing support, project release and deployment support.

Java, PHP, C#, VB support

Compatible with IE, Firefox

Comment by daxianjin — January 7, 2008

I use EXT myself… great library. I’m not that surprised to see Dojo losing ground in comparison. I AM surprised that GWT didn’t make the list… are people steering away from that for some reason?

Comment by zergworld — January 11, 2008

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